Findings from the TIMSS 2019 Problem Solving and Inquiry Tasks

Ina V.S. Mullis, Michael O. Martin, Bethany Fishbein, Pierre Foy, and Sebastian Moncaleano

Chapter 3: Mathematics Grade 8


About the Task

The Building PSI task assesses eighth grade students’ ability to visualize geometric figures and calculate dimensions of lengths, areas, and volumes as they participate virtually in constructing a three-sided storage shed. They did not actually need to “design” the shed as suggested by the introductory text, but they did need to be able to visualize what the shed needed to look like at various stages during the construction process. This PSI task does have a sequential order beginning with the floor, then roof, walls, and tank to catch and store rain. The Building PSI task was in a block that also included three shorter items based on robots that helped the students solve algebraic equations. The Robots results follow the discussion of the Building task.

Screen 1 – Introduction

To help students understand the final goal underlying the sequence of construction activities, the Building task begins with a video that shows a revolving 360 degree view of the finished shed, complete with its rain storage tank. As work begins, students can use the tabs (Floor, Roof, Walls) as many times as they like to watch videos showing views of the floor, roof, and walls under construction.

Click video to play